Budgam set tone for tuberculosis-free India: Harsh Vardhan

New Delhi: The Union health ministry on Tuesday declared the union territory of Lakshadweep and Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam tuberculosis-free. Calling it a “landmark achievement” in the fight against tuberculosis, health minister Harsh Vardhan said the development set the tone for a TB-free India. 

“We’ve now declared one union territory – Lakshadweep and one district in Jammu and Kashmir – Budgam – as tuberculosis-free. I think this is a landmark achievement to begin with and I think it has already set the tone for a TB-free India by 2025,” Harsh Vardhan said.

Addressing a meeting of WHO’s National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme Technical Consultant Network Teams, the health minister further said, “WHO has always been a constant source of transformative change in all health matters – right from technical support, research, policy, monitoring and evaluation, capacity building to public health communication and knowledge dissemination – you have always been there to support us; be it in drawing up the National Health Policy, or in initiatives like Ayushman Bharat, strengthened primary care through Health and Wellness Centres or promotion of digital health.”

Remembering India’s fight against polio, he said that despite India’s large population it managed to wipe out the disease from the country.

“We have again shown the world what we can achieve together in our fight against COVID. The year 2020 will be etched in public memory as one where the world found itself amid an unprecedented public health crisis. The outbreak of COVID-19 exerted unimaginable pressure on our health care systems. But we put forth a strong response, rapidly undertaking contact tracing and active case finding to identify, isolate and provide timely care to patients. WHO consultants were pulled in from across different programs to combat COVID, and I thank each one of you for your diligence in ensuring the continuity of healthcare services and helping stop the pandemic in its tracks,” he said.


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